How do you know if you have Helicobacter pylori?
How do you know if you have Helicobacter? Symptoms and test. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that can cause stomach ulcers and stomach inflammation. Not all infected people have difficulties and visible symptoms. Symptoms (if any) include dull or burning stomach pain, unplanned weight loss, stomach problems. If you suffer from one of these problems, you should have a Helicobacter test performed by your doctor (or you can be tested with a stool test at home). Ulcers caused by HP bacteria are usually treated with a combination of antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors.
What is H. pylori infection?
H. Pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) is a bacteria that can cause an infection in the stomach or duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It is the most common cause of ulcer disease. H. pylori can also cause inflammation and irritation of the stomach lining (gastritis).
Symptoms and causes
How does H. pylori infection cause damage?
H. Pylori colonises the mucus layer of the stomach and duodenal lining. The bacteria produce an enzyme called urease, which converts urea into ammonia. This ammonia protects the bacteria from stomach acid.
What diseases can Helicobacter pylori cause?
When H. pylori spreads, it eats through the stomach tissue and causes gastritis and/or stomach ulcers.
What are the symptoms of H. pylori infection?
The symptoms, if present, are the same as those of gastritis or peptic ulcer and include:
- dull or burning pain in the stomach (more often several hours after eating and at night). The pain may last several minutes to hours and come and go over a period of days to weeks
- unplanned weight loss
- nausea and vomiting (bloody vomit)
- indigestion (dyspepsia)
- loss of appetite
- blood in the stool
Diagnostics and tests
How is H. pylori infection diagnosed?
If your doctor suspects that H. pylori is the cause of your stomach ulcer, he or she may order one or more of the following tests:
- Breath test
- Stool test
- Endoscopy - gastroscopy
- Blood test
Can you self diagnose H. pylori?
Yes, with a home test for Helicobacter Pylori (from stool).
Do you think your problems are caused by Helicobacter? Make an appointment with your doctors. They will recommend a test and treatment for your problems if HP bacteria is detected.
Helicobacter pylori home test
It is also possible to test yourself with H. pylori stool test at home.
This is a simple and reliable test. Follow all the manufacturer's recommendations that are included in the package insert. The test can also be bought online.